What is the purpose of life?

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What is the purpose of life?

Post  ILoveInquiry on Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:26 am

What is the purpose of life? Is it just to live and survive? Or is there something more to it than that?
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Eclipse on Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:50 am

I would say the basic goal of life is to live and survive, but with sentience comes opportunity. We can choose what our purpose is, if we have any at all.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Gamov on Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:15 pm

I agree that the most fundamental purpose of life is that of survival. Another idea I've always had was that, as sentient beings, we are meant to experience, to learn, and to understand. I believe this because it makes sense of the deep seeded curiosity that we humans have.

A short while ago I learned about Carl Sagan, an astrologist who was well known in the scientific community for being able to popularize science. On such popularization was the 70's tv series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. I saw two episodes of this series, and in the first one was a quote which struck me. Carl Sagan said, "We are a means for which the universe seeks to understand itself". I thought this was a very intriguing quote because it presupposes that we are all not just a part of the universe; we are the universe.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Phoenix on Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:31 pm

If you oppose the concept of intelligent design, then we may not have a reason for being here at all. Humans could be a naturally occurring species just like any other animal. What separates us from the other animals is our intellect, which could be the product of complete, random coincidence.

The universe could be trillions or quadrillions of years old. It's not a stretch to think that if many species have been randomly creating themselves through evolution and adaptation for trillions of years before us, that a species as complex and intelligent as humans could have accidentally been evolved from something less than us. And even so, we're hardly a perfect specimen. We have organs that seem to serve no purpose, we haven't adapted to surviving on the entirety of this planet, and as a whole, we seem to be violently unintelligent compared to the standards philosophers predicted for us.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Gamov on Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:43 pm

You don't have to subscribe to the theory of intelligent design in order to believe that things can have purpose. Perhaps one just wants to identify a goal to keep us moving forward, as motivation, or to try to understand our place in the universe.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Phoenix on Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:49 pm

Gamov wrote:You don't have to subscribe to the theory of intelligent design in order to believe that things can have purpose. Perhaps one just wants to identify a goal to keep us moving forward, as motivation, or to try to understand our place in the universe.

Well of course, but then you would have to believe that our purpose is one that we've created for ourselves, or just your own personal purpose for life. That's rather anticlimactic, don't you think?

Well I guess it's more climactic than, "We have NO purpose."
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Eclipse on Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:43 pm

Phoenix wrote:Well I guess it's more climactic than, "We have NO purpose."

Do we really have purpose as a species? It seems to me we make up our own individual purpose.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Phoenix on Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:45 pm

Eclipse wrote:
Phoenix wrote:Well I guess it's more climactic than, "We have NO purpose."

Do we really have purpose as a species? It seems to me we make up our own indvidual purpose.

My thoughts exactly. In order for us to have some sort of reason for being here, don't we need to subscribe to at least some form of intelligent design, or at least have something out there that knows we exist for a reason?
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  mariposa12 on Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:37 pm

The purpose of life is i guess...to work, play, practice your religious practices, enjoy life to your best, eat, sleep, laugh, cry, study...that's it..a gift from God. Thats all i guess. This question is not meant to depress anyone, but its the truth. What is the meaning of life? Somebody answer this. Shocked
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Eclipse on Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:42 pm

mariposa12 wrote:The purpose of life is i guess...to work, play, practice your religious practices, enjoy life to your best, eat, sleep, laugh, cry, study...that's it..a gift from God. Thats all i guess.

So an external entity ("God") gives your life purpose and not yourself?

mariposa12 wrote:What is the meaning of life? Somebody answer this. Shocked

Do you mean on a macro or micro scale? For macro, there really is no meaning. It's the micro that's interesting. Since there is not prescribed meaning, people create their own.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Phoenix on Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:52 pm

mariposa12 wrote:The purpose of life is i guess...to work, play, practice your religious practices, enjoy life to your best, eat, sleep, laugh, cry, study...that's it..a gift from God. Thats all i guess. This question is not meant to depress anyone, but its the truth. What is the meaning of life? Somebody answer this. Shocked

The language you're using confuses me. Define "truth". Is this your own personal truth, or is this what you believe is the ultimate truth?
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  firey on Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:14 pm

Simply put: 42.

There is no meaning of life, why did dinosaurs exist? why dogs exist? We are simply a path along the evolutionary tree which gives us the ability to create habitats, to have the brains we do that allows thought, emotion, feelings, etc. We are not here to serve a purpose, we create our own purposes, we live for ourselves.

However harsh that may seem, that is my view on the Meaning of Life. To live for you.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Phoenix on Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:16 pm

firey wrote:Simply put: 42.

There is no meaning of life, why did dinosaurs exist? why dogs exist? We are simply a path along the evolutionary tree which gives us the ability to create habitats, to have the brains we do that allows thought, emotion, feelings, etc. We are not here to serve a purpose, we create our own purposes, we live for ourselves.

However harsh that may seem, that is my view on the Meaning of Life. To live for you.

42

Haha, you're my new favorite person that I don't personally know on the forums.

Anyway, I agree. If I am an atheist that believes we're no different than another species that exists on Earth, then logically, I believe we serve no purpose than what we make for ourselves.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Rombat on Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:59 pm

firey wrote:Simply put: 42.

But then what is the question?
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  ILoveInquiry on Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:38 pm

So, if we have no purpose apart from the purposes we make for ourselves, does that weaken the notion of purpose? Or does it just reposition it? That is, if you think that the only purpose in life is what the individual gives to it, then doesn't that make the process of 'giving purpose' to our life a very important one? Wouldn't it be a great skill indeed to be able to generate purpose where there is no sufficient 'external' purpose to be found? How could a person generate such purpose?
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What is the Purpose of Life?

Post  babyoj on Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:27 pm

I think that the purpose of life determines on who you are. I believe that the purpose of life differs for everyone. For example, one person's purpose of life may be to raise their children, while another person’s purpose of life might be to help the homeless. I think that the purpose of your life is what you make it to be. In the end, having tried to apply some kind of meaning to your life, whatever that meaning may be for you, gives you your purpose for life.

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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  antwan718 on Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:44 am

Before we look at intelligent design lets consider a few things.
Throwing biblical texts out the window and looking at scientific theories. Life started from non organic molecules dividing. (This has been replicated in labs when passing electricity through water with various compounds in it.)

Fast forward a few million years- we have those molecules competing for the same resources as other molecules in the environment. From this the cell is the first recognized form of "life." These cells are not capable of intelligent thought, only surviving making sure they can keep their own reactions going longer than those in their environment.

Fast forward a few more million years- we have cells adapting to different environments depending on food sources and physical hazards posed by the outside world.

What can we gather from this and Darwin's Origin of species. Evolution is not an end to a means, its a process. If a particular trait is more apt for survival it survives. If it does not work it dies off. Nature cares not about the individual or the species. It is just a delicate system of species coexisting fighting for survival.

Anything we attach to the meaning of life is only to protect our fragile ego.

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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Eclipse on Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:25 pm

antwan718 wrote:Anything we attach to the meaning of life is only to protect our fragile ego.

Very true, but do you think, even though we have no purpose as a species, we can create one for ourselves?
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  antwan718 on Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:56 pm

Eclipse wrote:
antwan718 wrote:Anything we attach to the meaning of life is only to protect our fragile ego.

Very true, but do you think, even though we have no purpose as a species, we can create one for ourselves?

We can but regardless outside of ourselves would it mean anything?

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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Eclipse on Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:06 pm

antwan718 wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
antwan718 wrote:Anything we attach to the meaning of life is only to protect our fragile ego.

Very true, but do you think, even though we have no purpose as a species, we can create one for ourselves?

We can but regardless outside of ourselves would it mean anything?

From different prospectives, perhaps. Such a made up purpose can mean much to the individual, but n ot to others. Reality is relative, is it not?
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  antwan718 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:38 am

Eclipse wrote:
antwan718 wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
antwan718 wrote:Anything we attach to the meaning of life is only to protect our fragile ego.

Very true, but do you think, even though we have no purpose as a species, we can create one for ourselves?

We can but regardless outside of ourselves would it mean anything?

From different prospectives, perhaps. Such a made up purpose can mean much to the individual, but n ot to others. Reality is relative, is it not?

Well played good sir.

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..

Post  mariposa12 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:29 am

I think we create our own purposes. Your purposes in life are what you want them to be. end of story... Like a Star @ heaven
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Eclipse on Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:48 am

antwan718 wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
antwan718 wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
antwan718 wrote:Anything we attach to the meaning of life is only to protect our fragile ego.

Very true, but do you think, even though we have no purpose as a species, we can create one for ourselves?

We can but regardless outside of ourselves would it mean anything?

From different prospectives, perhaps. Such a made up purpose can mean much to the individual, but n ot to others. Reality is relative, is it not?

Well played good sir.

Thank you.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Post  Gamov on Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:09 am

Rombat wrote:
firey wrote:Simply put: 42.

But then what is the question?

OMG why hasn't someone jumped at this?

What's six times seven?
How many roads must a man walk down?
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